Why Believe in God?
Five rational approaches to Theism
A beginning indicates a Cause
- Whatever began must have a cause beyond itself.²
- The universe had a beginning.¹
- Therefore, the universe had a cause beyond itself.
Objective values come from a Lawgiver
- If there were no God, there would be no objective right and wrong.³
- But many actions are objectively right or wrong.⁴
- Therefore, there is a God.
Potential and necessary existence
- It is possible that the greatest conceivable entity (GCE) exists.⁵
- If we were to assume that the GCE does not necessarily exist, then one could imagine a superior alternative that does necessarily exist, which contradicts the GCE’s very definition.⁶
- Therefore, the GCE necessarily exists.
Design indicates designer
- Our world exhibits apparently fine-tuned physical conditions⁷ that are needed to support the existence of life.
- This fine tuning is not due to physical necessity. Since the laws of nature would comply with other possible conditions that in fact do not support life.⁸
- Nor is it reasonable to presume that the fine-tuning is due to coincidence. Since the probability is overwhelmingly greater that the universe should occur with alternative conditions that do not allow the existence of life.
- Therefore, it is most plausible that the fine tuning is due to design.
- When someone predicts an outcome, which by chance would be extremely unlikely to occur, then if the outcome actually happens, it indicates great credibility to that person.
- Prophets, speaking in the name of God, predicted for example the Jews’ exile from Israel and return thereto.
- This is extremely unlikely to occur by chance. In fact, it never happened to any other people in history.
- Therefore, the prophets have great credibility, when they speak in the name of God.
- Even if there is a grand multiverse comprised of many world, nevertheless main stream physics maintains that there was a beginning. See for example this article or more recently this one.
- If you doubt this, try to provide a counter-example.
- If you doubt this, try to provide an objective humanistic basis for morality. On the contrary, frequently, societies whose moral code was based on humanistic standards, were plagued by depraved and lowly character, notwithstanding their great intellectual achievements. For example: Nazi Germany, Ancient Greece and Rome.
- Would anyone argue that it is not wrong to loot, rape and pillage victims who are totally innocent?
- This is well-defined and meaningful. For instance, consider by contrast the greatest conceivable sports car. One may argue that it cannot possibly exist. Because you can always imagine one that has more speed, more efficiency, more comfort, etc.
- This is not just rationalizing. It is a classic methodology of proof by contradiction. See examples here.
- Such as the apparent fine tuning of the physical constants, exquisitely precise chemical and climactic environmental conditions present on planet earth. For more examples, see here.
- Skeptics may argue that this misrepresents the nature of “laws of nature”. Such a critic will need to provide (i) and explanation why this formulation is illegitimate, and (ii) another formulation that is more plausible. In addition, anyone who disputes this based on the existence of multiple universes, will have to explain why we coincidentally happen to found ourselves in one of the extraordinarily rare universes which supports life.